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ELECTION COULD MEAN NEW POOL, SHOPS FOR FARMINGTON

Residents will have a chance to vote Oct. 3 on financing what city surveys say they want.

The bond election will determine whether the city will be allowed to issue up to $1.5 million in general obligation bonds to finance new city shops and a swimming pool.Resident surveys concerning recreation and the city's master plan have indicated citizens want a swimming pool, and the city needs new city shops, said City Manager Max Forbush.

During Wednesday's council meeting, council members approved asking residents to vote on proposals to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $750,000 for new city shops and a similar bond issue not to exceed $750,000 for a swimming pool. The council also made it clear taxes will not increase if the proposals pass.

City officials will likely have to build new city shops even if that part of the bond request fails. The city is under pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Health Department to move the shops (now located at 286 S. 200 East) because of potential pollution of a nearby city well and the building's failure to meet seismic, electrical and mechanical building codes. The building's location in a residential area also makes it difficult to move large tractors and trucks in and out of the facility.

And, the city has simply outgrown the buildings. The city's population was just 2,500 when the shops were originally build in the early 1970s. Since then the population had quadrupled, and officials expect it to double again before all development in the city is exhausted.

Remodeling the old building is out of the question because there isn't enough space for the needed expansion.

"It would cost several thousand dollars and would be unwise and not very cost-effective to upgrade and stabilize the walls," he said. "Even if we do that we still have a small shop.

"We have more equipment, more employees and more space needs than in the 1970s," he said. "It's just not adequate for our public work functions."

The city bought property last year on the west side of I-15 that would facilitate a new building. The land at 650 W. State Street is large enough to accommodate the city's current needs and future expansion.

"We bought the land last year because the EPA and State Health Department strongly encouraged the shops be moved," he said. "The current shops aren't compatible for other uses for traffic and safety reasons."

Forbush said the city hopes to convert the current shop site into a city park when the move is completed.

As for establishing better recreation facilities for citizens, construction on a swimming pool would begin as early as this winter if the proposal passes. Council members plan to build at the existing city park, 100 S. Main, remove the tennis courts and build a T-ball field, he said.

Forbush said a tax increase will not be necessary because bonds issued for a new city hall in 1984 are nearing payoff along with other city indebtedness. Funds used to pay those obligations will be used to repay the new bonds, negating the need for a tax boost.